Thanksgiving in Canada comes a whole month earlier than it does south of the border, and for that I am especially thankful. Mostly because it lands before Halloween, and then allows me to have a full two months to take off the candy and turkey poundage prior to indulging in both once again at Christmastime, just when those jeans finally zip up.
So, in honour of Canadian Thanksgiving, I'm offering up a serving from my latest book, Shut Up and Eat: Tales of Chicken, Children and Chardonnay. Put the turkey in the oven, pour some wine in your glass, pick out your best eating pants, sit back and enjoy this excerpt.
There are many things to be thankful for when you have children. Here are some that might occur to you, as they do to me, while you're sitting around the Thanksgiving dinner table with your extended family:
• Your son didn't wear his FCUK t-shirt to the dinner table. Grandparents still consider it offensive. And so do I, on a certain level at least.
• You decided against serving the peas. (You've eyeballed at least two slingshots peeking out of shorts pockets.)
• Your kids use so many slang/rap expressions when dissing each other that your parents don't really know what they're saying. Including "dissing."
• Your mom decided to serve dinner buffet style, so the kids can choose what they like -- one piece of broccoli and four pieces of bread? Fine. Don't care. Sit down and shut up -- instead of complaining about their plates being full of things they won't eat. Otherwise, you'd get blamed for both wasting food and not raising your children properly for. Or is that just me?
• Candied yams are considered a vegetable and not dessert. How (literally) sweet is that?
• It's a special occasion, so the calories don't count.
• Turkey contains tryptophan, which is known for inducing sleep. You will have a lovely hour-long car ride home if you have an extra coffee and load up hubby's and children's plates.
One of the best things about Thanksgiving is that it is a really short holiday. Basically, it lasts for one meal. (At least here in Canada, where we do it on a Monday in October, with no real football games or pre-Christmas shopping frenzies to attend to).
Other festive occasions which are mercifully only a day long are children's birthdays and Halloween. The birthdays seem longer because you have to spend so much time planning them, but the actual event is mercifully short. Likewise for Halloween. And the really good news about Halloween is that you don't have to bother making dinner that night, or breakfast the next morning. It's all about the candy. And even if you are the type of parent to force your kids to eat something healthy before they go out trick-or-treating, rest assured that they'll shove any nasty dinner down their throat just to get out there. Score. Yet another thing to feel thankful for.
Excerpted from "Shut Up and Eat: Tales of Chicken, Children and Chardonnay", by Kathy Buckworth.